The sale of the National Archives property is not a trivial issue, and Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s efforts to prevent the sale of the Sand Point property are herculean.
The mission of the National Archives, according to its website, “ … is to provide public access to Federal Government records in our custody and control. Public access to government records strengthens democracy by allowing Americans to claim their rights of citizenship, hold their government accountable, and understand their history so they can participate more effectively in their government.”
It is unfortunate that the Seattle National Archives, originally sited at Sand Point because it was available government property, is now assessed at $87 million, according to King County Assessment records.
The owner of the property is the parent organization of the National Archives, the General Services Administration. The GSA also owns a sprawling property in Auburn, which is also up for sale and is being used as a COVID-19 testing site [“South King County has been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus,” Oct. 28, Health].
The law passed in December of 2016 that is generating the sale of government properties requires that the proceeds of any sales remain in the budget of the agency owning the property. The sale of the Sand Point property should proceed only if the money from the sale is used to build a new, state-of-the art archives facility on the GSA property in Auburn.
Kate Bradley, Sammamish